Governor Signs Bill That Gives Pedestrians a Head Start
Governor Gavin Newsom has signed AB 2264, which will change the way Caltrans programs traffic lights for pedestrians. On state-controlled intersections, when Caltrans replaces or installs a traffic signal with a crosswalk, it must program the signal to give pedestrians a 3- to 7-second head start before car traffic moving the same direction gets a green. CalBike strongly supported this bill, authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom, as part of our active transportation slate.
Known as a leading pedestrian interval, or LPI, this simple measure makes people who walk more visible to turning vehicles. Streetsblog reports reductions in collisions between pedestrians and cars of up to 46%, and NACTO reports up to 60% fewer collisions. In light of the increase in roadway deaths, particularly of pedestrians, in recent years, this law is a welcome change. We hope it will encourage municipalities to install LPIs at locally controlled intersections.
AB 2264 will increase safety for people on bikes, as well. The OmniBike Bill, AB 1909, allows bicyclists to cross with the walk signal, even if the traffic light isn’t green. The effect of LPIs on visibility for bike riders hasn’t been studied as thoroughly as its impact on pedestrian safety. Still, we anticipate that increased visibility will also reduce collisions between cars and bikes. CalBike is thrilled that the governor signed this critical safety bill.
Learn more about AB 2264 and the other legislation that CalBike was focused on in 2022 on our Legislative Watch page. To support our hard-hitting advocacy and our vision for a future full of bicycles, please make a gift today.